Transparency, data on procurement and reporting on how public money is used are some of the areas that still leave room for improvement, say the EPP Group Spokespersons on the annual evaluation of EU spending, Chairwoman of the European Parliament’s Budgetary Control Committee Inge Gräßle MEP, and the EPP Group Spokesman in the same committee, Petri Sarvamaa MEP.
"Constant dripping wears away the stone - this is also true for the annual budget discharge procedure”, said Inge Gräßle, responsible for the Group line on the Commission discharge.
“I am pleased to see that our constant work and diligent follow-up have led to a positive evolution of the error rates in many policy areas, the establishment of sound financial management structures in the Commission and in the Member States, and, most notably, to a new way of handling conflicts of interest of members of government in the Member States by the Commission.”
“Let’s talk about such success stories - but let’s not forget about the problem areas that still exist: we need to improve the reporting, the transparency in spending for financial instruments, and the quality and reliability of public procurement data", Gräßle said.
”In the year 2017, the EU used €2.35 billion to run 32 agencies and the duty of the European Parliament is to confirm that this spending carries the best possible results”, said Petri Sarvamaa, responsible for the Parliament on the agencies’ discharges.
“Unfortunately, the Parliament had to postpone the discharge of the European Asylum Support Office for the second time in a row as there are irregularities and non-compliances of payments related to some of the procurement procedures and the contracts the EASO made.”
“When European asylum policies are challenged, it is all the more important that the money from the EU budget is not only spent by the book, but is also done effectively and efficiently”, underlined Sarvamaa.
"The European Parliament has the exclusive right and power to approve, or not, the way the EU Institutions implement the EU budget. We have to make sure EU taxpayers' money is used transparently and according to the rules. Accountability is what the discharge process is all about", Sarvamaa concluded. The European Parliament can grant, postpone or refuse a discharge.
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 217 Members from 28 Member States